Sunday, October 20, 2013

Being Intentional is HARD!

If you follow me on twitter, you might remember that one of my goals for this year was to "Be Intentional". In fact, I even submitted that as my actual goal for my principal/evaluation process. After 9 weeks of school, I can officially tell you that "being intentional" is hard work!

Explain please!
This summer, after reading Embedded Formative Assessment and Teach Like a Pirate, I knew that I wanted to make sure that every decision was carefully thought out, making sure that I spent time planning activities for maximum instructional time and having a better idea of where my students were on a daily basis. In some ways, I've been successful, but in other ways, I've been an utter failure!

Progress Report - 1st quarter
  • 180 blog - This summer I really wanted to make sure that every day, I was doing something photo-worthy in my classroom. Some days this works out really well, but I've had too many days where I forgot to take a photo. On the upside, there have been very few days where absolutely nothing is worth a photo! Overall, I would give myself a C+. When I do remember to take a photo, I often forget to blog it. :(

  • Integration of AP questions - This has been an utter failure. It was my hope/dream to use my ABCDE cards on a daily basis, integrating AP level Multiple Choice and Free Response questions and I've failed. I've done a couple of each, but overall, I would give myself an F on this topic. Maybe this quarter will be better.

  • Warmups - Last year in AP, I wasn't extremely happy with how I did warmups. I had them pre-printed and students turned them in each Friday for feedback. I did like that it was a spiraled review for students, but for many kids they copied their neighbor's work and lost the benefit that was there. This year, I am being very intentional about the Warmup activity that I choose. Sometimes it's a problem from the previous day, sometimes it's an introductory activity, sometimes it's some practice AP questions, but each day (for the most part) is very intentionally chosen to fit an instructional purpose. I would give myself a B+ or maybe even an A here.

  • Homework - This year in AP, I've redone how I do Homework. I swear, every year I have a different policy! :) This year, I chose to do Problem Sets that go with each Learning Target. Other than I sometimes forget until the last minute, I do overall like how I've done Homework this year. Again, I think I've earned a B+ or A.

  • Classroom Décor - My classroom is beautiful this year and I'm very pleased with how it turned out. My biggest disappointment so far is that I'm still missing the "Evidence of Learning" that I really wanted to be displayed by now. I'm still trying to figure out how to handle this. When you walk into my room, you do see a comfortable environment, but there's no student work displayed, which is disappointing. Overall, I give myself a C.

  • Whiteboarding - Another utter failure. I need to figure this one out. I've read the posts, but need to figure out how to implement it. Another F. :(

  • Formative Assessment - To be perfectly honest, I need to go back and do some more reading on EFA. I've done better with exit slips than ever before, but I've not kept up with FA the way I wanted to. This really needs to be a post all its own... In fact, I think that shall be my next post! Overall grade is a C.

  • Blogging and Twitter - This is another weakness. I know that I need to read blogs and interact on twitter because I grow professionally when I do these. However, my reader has almost 700 posts and more bloggers are popping up daily thanks to the #MTBOS challenge. I can go days without reading Twitter because the time just isn't there. I need to find time for these vital communities. I give myself a D- here.

    Overall Grade - C
    Thankfully I use SBG, so this grade isn't final (YET) :)

    Shout out to @kathrynfreed for the topic of this post! :) Thanks for making me blog!

    asymptote12 said...

    You're right. It really is, especially if no one is encouraging you.

    But I know you can do it. The fact that you're reflecting like this shows that you know where you need to grow.

    I find that at times I pick a class and tell them one of my goals for the week (for my own personal growth) and have them help me to keep to it (after all that is what I should be doing with them).

    Its easier to remember with 25-30 nagging children asking if you've really been working on your goal this week.

    I was doing well with ISN and reflections this year, until I got Pre Calculus dropped in my lap. My 5th hour Alg2 students gave me, ahem, *stuff* about not doing anything in the ISN for a week. Thanks Kids, no really!

    Scott @planting_ideas

    Algebra's Friend said...

    Your post inspires me! Keep up the good work. I'm going to reflect on my goals this week as well!

    One thing I have learned is that teachers are hard on themselves when it comes to self-evaluation. We have such great expectations!

    jdyhnt said...

    I'm impressed with the progress that you have made. You have so many areas in which you wanted to make progress, and it really is hard to make so much progress in all of them at the same time. Maybe, if they are not prioritized, it would make sense to do it, so that you can always be checking in to be sure you are making the most progress on the most important ones, and try to find time to make some progress on the others. Seems like it would feel more rewarding that way, because the higher priority items should be more heavily weighted in the final assessment.